Written by: Kevin Kindelberger
WCW Thunder 1/22/98
Thunder is still being treated as a near “A” show, so I guess this is the true go home show. I am sure nothing too important will happen, probably be used to set up the PPV with some angle advancement and midcard matches. Hopefully it avoids some of the mistakes Nitro made with respects to the faces as Hogan is way too strong and the fact that Rick Martel is getting a push is, well, quite frankly beyond me.
Piper will be back at Souled Out and he has informed that Sting, Hogan and Hall need to be there for an announcement.
Match 1: Konnan v. Scott Steiner
Scotty shoves him down and after a hiptoss Konnan retreats to the floor. He gets back and they lock up and Konnan pushes him into the corner where Vincent trips him up and Konnan kicks him a few times. But it does not last as Steiner tosses him around like a rag doll and then gorilla slams him. Now a butterfly powerbomb and Scotty looks much bigger, all natural of course. Konnan is placed up top and Buff and Norton runs in and attacks him and here comes Rick and Ray Traylor. Scotty clears the ring and then shoves his partners away and tosses out Norton. Scotty and Buff have a flex off!
Angle advancement as the announcers all speculate what is up with him….I say Roid Rage.
Nash slowly makes his way to the ring. He is glad to be in Hunstville and in 90 minutes he will be 1.5 million dollars richer as he plenty of tricks up his sleeve. The Giant wants him more than a lap dance after twenty years at sea and people think that Kevin Nash has a fear of the Giant, well the Giant would be sadly mistaken if he believes that. There are two kinds of torture the physical and psychological and the former is what he will do to the Giant on Saturday and the latter what he has been doing. The fans were kind of eating out of his hand but there were plenty of cheers for the Giant.
Match 2: Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Super Calo v. La Parka and Silver King
King and Chavo start off and exchange armbars, with Chavo armdragging him over. King misses in the corner and Chavo shoves Parka off the apron and Calo comes in and clears out King and Parka leaps at him but gets all ropes. Calo trips him up, but is whipped into the corner however he gets his boot up. Raven comes down solo, sitting in the crowd. Parka and King doubleteam King and Parka slingshots right onto his back as he his arms were held by King. King is tagged and he airplane spins him around and then gets two after a somersault leg drop. King kills him with a powerbomb and Chavo breaks the count but is tossed out by Parka. Parka is in and he and Calo collide. Chavo is in and he dropkicks both but is held by Parka and King dropkicks Parka after Chavo ducks. Chavo suicde dives into him as Calo finishes off Silver King.
Not bad. Chavo is fun to watch and should have gotten the pin.
La Parka comes in with the chair and clear the ring and Juvie and Lizmark come down and unload on Parka. Now Psychosis and El Dandy are in the ring and all the Lucha’s are going at it. Chavo somersault flips out on top of Parka and Dandy is back dropped out and Calo dives out with a slingshot suicied dive. Juvie and Lizmark dive over the top and nail Psychosis and someone else.
Nick Patrick wants some TV time and Rick Martel comes in and says excuse me. Kidman comes up and calls him a stooge and is upset that he cost Saturn the TV title. Martel shoves him away but then is assalted and shoved into the door where the glass shatters.
Match 3: Marty Jannetty v. Dean Malenko
They exchange armbars but Dean is taken over and Marty has the arm. Malenko is up and he goes after the leg and knee. Marty is up and he takes down Malenko and has him in a front facelock. Dean counters out and has the ankle and is pulling on the leg. Marty leans into him and elbows free. Marty has both legs and takes an hour to catapult him into the corner, rolls him up getting two. Marty knocks him down and gets two and now applies the rear chinlock. Dean is up and back suplexes out getting a two count. Dean kicks him a couple of times and gets two more after a vertical suplex. Marty fires back, whips him into the ropes, runs him over and gets two. Now Jannetty is working on the leg, rolls him up for two and now goes after the arm. Malenko finally gets free and punishes him in the corner but is hit in the head. Malenko telegraphs the back drop off the whip reversal and gets faceplanted. Marty hooks him and gets a two count. Marty is picked up but is set on his feet on the apron; he slides underneath and gets a near fall and then strikes with a swinging neckbreaker. He goes for his finisher and Dean floats over and powerbombs him and turns him into the Cloverleaf.
Rather slow moving match but not too bad and luckily the right person went over.
Match 4: Kendall Windham v. Goldberg
Goldberg takes him down and pulls on the knee. The ref breaks it and Windham hits him and then clotheslines him but Windham is shrugged off and Goldberg bellows at him, then spears him and now the Jackhammer and it is over.
Fans are responding more and more and now there are signs for him.
Here comes Hall and it is survey time. WCW gets a good pop and nWo does too. Hall is going to slap the Giant around tonight and at the PPV he is finally going to shut up Zybszco. Louie Spiccoli comes out wearing an Outsiders shirt and Hall wants to know what he wants and Louie has Larry’s golf clubs. The fans chant for Larry as Hall wants to see his stroke and Louie swings and then breaks it. Now to the four iron and Hall wants to see the stroke and then that one is broken too. If Larry wants his clubs back he will bring them to Souled Out as that is all he will have left after he gets through with him. Here comes Larry and he tells Hall to make all the jokes he wants and then calls them Abbot and Costello and Hall finds that amusing. Larry tells him that he is actually going to have to wrestle. Spiccoli claims that Larry cannot even beat him and Hall wants it to happen. Louie charges Larry and gets taken down and Hall tries to help him but misses the elbow and Larry slides free and tells Hall he will not be alone at the PPV.
Highlights of Piper on Walker Texas Ranger and they are predictably awful.
Match 5: Eddie Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio Jr. (c) for WCW Cruiserweight Title
Eddie goes after him but Rey escapes only to be slammed and then clotheslined. Rey is whipped into the ropes but scissors him over and Eddie gets caught up in the apron flap; the ref helps him out and Eddie nails him in the knee brace with a suicide dive the fans chant “Eddie sucks” as he powerbombs Rey. The chants allow Rey to slam him getting two. Eddie falls on him and now he gets a two count. Eddie goes after the knee again then vertically suplexes him. Eddie heads up top but Rey is there with a headbutt and he climbs up and superplexes him off. Both men are down, they slowly get up and Rey double kicks him to the floor and then crashes into him with a somersault plancha. Rey sells the knee and climbs back into the ring. Eddie is slow to get up and Jericho blows right by him and goes after Mysterio and then shoves the ref off. Eddie is upset but then they both stomp on Rey with alacrity. Rey is dumped to the floor. Now Eddie shoves him again and they argue. Benoit comes in who is scheduled to face Jericho later and Eddie sees him and backs off as Jericho plays the tough. Now he turns and sees Benoit and his reaction is comically terrible. Jericho backs off and then goes for a punch but Benoit goes off…..
The bell has rung and Benoit is merciless as he drives his foot into him over and over. Jericho runs to the floor and tries to keep his distance.
Benoit hits him, rolls him into the ring and Jericho slides right back out but Benoit crashes into him with a suicide dive. Benoit chops him over and over and rolls him back into the ring. Benoit goes for the powerbomb but Jericho counters free and dropkicks him. He mounts Benoit and hammers him. Jericho slams him down and wants the Liontamer but is kicked into the ropes and off the rebound is chopped. Jericho runs away again, and goes for the kick but it is caught and he is leg whipped. Jericho sells the knee, lures in Benoit and drops him. Jericho caters to the crowd but is booed much to his chagrin. Benoit is whipped into the ropes and nailed with a back elbow to the head. Jericho flexes, takes his time and bodyslams him, strikes with a moonsault. He brags that was a beautiful move as the fans disagree and tell him that he sucks. Benoit uses the delay to his advantage for some chops but is sent back into the corner and choked out. Benoit is places up top and nearly pinned after a fishermen’s superplex. Jericho snaps him over and puts him in a reverse chinlock. Benoit gets to his feet and escapes via a back suplex. Jericho is up first and dropkicks a struggling Benoit in the side. He goes for a suplex but Benoit counters with a German suplex and then drops him throat first onto the top rope and now some chops. Jericho is hung upside down and dropkicked. Jericho tries to fight back but is put in the Crossface and Jericho immediately taps and departs even before the move is on!
Fun stuff, as the midcard got something going on instead of just randomly fighting one another there was some coherency. Eddie looked strong but last week was a killer despite obviously being over. Also, Jericho is getting some great heat.
Benoit opens the ropes for Raven who declines the invitation only to attack him from behind.
Here comes Hogan and EB. Hogan is taking his time as he gets is flex on. EB thanks everyone on hehalf of the champ: Hollywood. Hogan is being thrown a party and all his friends will be at the PPV. Hogan responds that all good things come to those who wait and he beat Sting not once but twice. He also beat the Giiant with a four count (terrible). He has heard that the WCW brass wanted to give him the belt tonight as they are polishing it up but the announcement will happen at the PPV. The fans wants Sting as all his disciples and worshippers want him to have his title back as that is where it belongs. He wants the fans to worship him too and pray to the big man that Hulk is their leader. He and EB are together for life. EB talks some more about love as Hulk flexes again.
Match 7: Saturn v. Rick Martel
Rick takes time to show up but then sprints down to a waiting Saturn. He begins to club him with a series of blows, Saturn is rocked back and back dropped and then clotheslined twice and then out to the floor. Martel slings him into the steel steps; he is rolled back into the ring where he mounts and pounds him inthe corner. He tries to attack the rest of the Flock and this allows Saturn to grab and crotch him on the top rope and now Saturn is in command only to get two after a crossbody. Saturn grabs him, tosses him back and gets two. Saturn headbutts him and chops him in the corner. Rick turns it around and chops him but misses a dive into the opposing corner after the whip. Saturn takes him down and has the arm. Martel is on his feet, punches free but ducks his head and is booted. Saturn gets two and goes back after the arm with a bodyscissors applied; Martel tries to escape but cannot. Martel counters and is on top and has a modified STF but Saturn escapes with a back elbow and then drops him for two and goes back after the arm. Martel is pushed into the ropes and they clothesline each other.
Martel is hammering him in the corner, is whipped into the other one but Saturn runs into the boot and is faceplanted. Saturn trips him up, rolls him up for two and then a small package for two more. He slides him over for two more. Saturn clotheslines him, pulls him up, kicks him and gets two after the sunset flip. Martel counters with the Crab and Saturn has to tap!
Seriously? Martel gets ZERO crowd support. I know he is promised his random push and is fighting for the title and needs to be strong but his music is like porn music and the fans do not care while Saturn can wrestle…..Fuck WCW what are you doing?
Match 8: Scott Hall v. the Giant
Hall mocks the Giant and then gets in his face, yelling at him so he is pushed down with ease. Hall tosses the toothpick and then hits him. He puts the Giant in a front chancery and is picked up and placed up top. Hall leaps at him and is caught and put in a bearhug. Giant just lets him go, and drops him with a big headbutt. Hall stumbles around right into another headbutt. Giant is toying with him and out comes Hogan and Nash. He turns towards them and Hall hits him from behind and Nash clocks him while wearing knucks. Now Hall stomps him and Hogan comes and lends a hand. Giant goozles both, Savage runs down and is shoved off the top by Luger. Giant cracks heads and Savage is pulled out by Luger and Racked and Nash is taunting Savage! Hogan is tossed out and Hall is chokeslammed and pinned. The three count happened and Nash was way too late to make the save but they sell it I think. Nash hits him a few times and Giant slowly stalks after him as Nash taunts him. Giant is throwing a fit as Nash wants him to hit him and Giant goes to goozle him and then does it to the ring post and after he had unwound a cord takes down the post! Hall staggers around like a drunk (he is used to that) as the ring collapses! Now that would probably have gotten me to buy the PPV!
Final Thoughts: Another solid edition. I liked the Jericho/Eddie match and aftermath and Eddie did not inexplicably lose! Hogan had another good promo; Nash and Hall had good promos too. The main event was just angle advancement but was fine. At least the Giant looked strong this time, but Nitro still baffles me. Saturn losing is just fucking stupid and uncalled for, but what do I know? Anyway I hope the PPV is strong.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.